I should know by now that my estimates with time and driving are usually OFF completely by atleast two hours not accounting for traffic, accidents, road work, unknown traveled routes and small animals needing to be fed ….
I traveled from San Diego to Groveland, CA today expecting an 8 hour drive … ehm … well, it was more like 11 hours! But I did it! I drove I-5 North to HWY 99 up through Bakersfield and Fresno. In Fresno at one of my stops to get gas, I came out to my car from using the restroom and three small dogs were all sitting by my car. They all looked up at me happily grinning, “So! You got any food?” … “I have some water, what about that?” … “The little black dog of unknown origin spoke for the other two dogs, “Water? No thank you. Food. Got any?” …. “Okay, okay … I do. Hold on.” Digging around my cooler, I found some leftovers of pork and brown rice. I passed out the food and poured them some water into a dish I had. They thanked me kindly and skittered off into the nearby neighborhood.
From HWY 99 I took Route 41 briefly and headed up Route 49 … where 16 miles of winding mountain road took me an extra 90 minutes … but … I love windy, curvy roads. I met up with the Merced River stopping for a photo op at the bridge.
The 49 connected with the 120 East … at last! … 10 1/2 hours later from San Diego … that’s when I re-read the direction page I printed from the Hotel Charlotte where I am staying … “Only take the 49 Route if you like long, scenic, death-defying windy roads” … that totally makes sense! … 8 winding miles later on the 120 and I made it to Hotel Charlotte in Groveland, CA
The town of Groveland is small, charming and cute!
Hotel Charlotte has its own restaurant with a wonderful chef and awesome fresh menu of locally grown veggies and blends of tastes from Yam Gnocchi to Sauteed Pork Tamales with fresh Mole sauce to Roasted Veggies with Lentils … as you can see … I was so hungry that I ate my meal before I had a chance to take a photo!
I did get a photo of the yummy dessert … Fruit Pudding Cake with Yogurt and Fresh Berries
Now off to bed I go to rest up for a day of exploring Yosemite tomorrow before the big hike in a couple of days! … Are there really Unicorns at Unicorn Peak I wonder?